INTERVIEW Natasha Stojkovska

We are working in a fast-paced world and world of new emerging trends, where the market and its players are changing on a daily basis. What are the challenges when working in this sector?

Every industry and sector of work has its own specifics which when combined with the latest discoveries, technological inventions or in our case in the food industry, the scientific research and nutritive trends, create challenges that we have to overcome. Exactly here, maybe the greatest changes appear in this sector sometimes even on a daily basis and come up with something new, recommended and necessary. All of that results in constantly changing and improving the food industry. Such changes are caused by the latest nutritive trends, legal regulation, safety, and qualitative standards as well as market i.e. consumer demand. So the food industry is modeled as a combination of all these influences. The speed of following the changes is what is creating our challenges, which we overcome daily.

What do you think is crucial for better following and adapting to the new market conditions?

Mainly, it is the awareness of the need for change. Nothing can remain the same as last year, not even as the last month. Every process is subject to change for further development, and mostly the FMCG market. The awareness of the need for change goes hand in hand with education, and that is why a continuous education is crucial in the upgrading process, not only individually but also mostly on a company level. I believe that education is the starting point because knowledge gives confidence, developing self-initiative and proactivity, inventiveness and creativity, which are very necessary for company management. Education encourages divergent thinking and how to find an appropriate solution for every situation. When speaking about the market, we personify it too much, but still, every change or market movement is encouraged by the people, the consumers or the manager, the person who owns these characteristics. The one having the knowledge and the power for change.

Do you have any coaching experience and what is your stand on this way of work improvement?

Every education form means building an advantage over the others, it guarantees the company’s success. Improving, obtaining knowledge in a particularly productive way is reflected on a manager level because it creates an effect of confidence and decisiveness, characteristics which are very often crucial in a business environment. Coaching, as an especially differentiated form of education, is the perfect link of new knowledge, practical part, and application in the specific area. In my experience exactly this approach goes into the essence of education and gives the most precise directions for development. That is the biggest advantage of such education, which is tailor-made and specific appropriately for various industries according to the requirements. When speaking of changes, the vast application of coaching confirms exactly the same, that segmenting is appreciated in the educative approach versus generalizing.

Vitaminka employees around 700 people of different professional profiles; how necessary and important is their professional development for a modern company?

It is necessary, actually; the education and upgrading of employees bring changes, innovations and creativity for the company and in Vitaminka as well. And no company can prosper if it is not inventive in its operation. And not just regarding the products, but literally in all sectors, laboratories, development departments, distribution, network, merchandising as well as communication. In all its segments, the company should develop in new directions, and it can only be done by the people, employees and by their education, training and all types of upgrading.

In your professional career, while working in one of the most dynamic and most competitive sectors and additionally even in the most fragile departments, in the past and today, have you ever felt that being a woman is an obstacle in meeting the goals?

I am personally convinced and of course based on my experience, that success depends only and solely on personal commitment. The base of success is knowledge and hard work, and those are obtained by education. There is no obstacle, in terms of gender, for someone to obtain a quality education, there is no excuse to build yourself with knowledge, competence, and expertise for the work you do. All of that will give you the competence to manage, organize yourself and the work, to create a team for achieving success together. And also, no one and nothing does not have to be left behind, the home, the social life, neither the job. It is simple – if you are confident in what you do, you will easily be able to manage professional and private obligations. It is my formula for success, and I believe it is the formula of many other professionals from my surroundings.

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